Hello, my name is Carrie, but a lot of people know me as either Caghs or Kitty.
I’ve loved animals for as long as I can remember. Growing up, we had a blind German Shepherd named Rani (Rah•nee) that Mum rescued from a breeder (since most breeders don’t particularly like blind puppies amongst their ‘stock’), and Sadie, a Daschund cross that Mum rescued from the RSPCA after seeing her advertised on a morning talk show. She’d been abandoned at the local shopping centre. Both were adopted when my brother (who is two years older than me) was a baby.
With such beginnings, it comes as little surprise that I became passionate about animal rescue from a young age. I’d always had a love affair with animals, but when we adopted Chiska (a two-year-old black-and-white moggy) in 1992, my love finally found an outlet. At a grand total of 11 years old, I began to volunteer at the local RSPCA as a kennel hand. It wasn’t long before they discovered my affinity for animals, and pretty soon the difficult animals were left to me, since I found it easy to win their trust. After all, I understand animals better than I understand humans.
I’ve had a lot of animals in my adult life, I’m a bit of a soft touch when it comes to an animal in need, and I currently play maid to three dogs and three cats. Sadly, I had to put Chiska to sleep last year, at the ripe old age of 20, because her liver was failing. Doing that was like tearing out a piece of my heart, I can tell you!
This entry comes on the day that Dudley, my youngest, gets desexed. Dudley is a Belgian Shepherd, adopted under much the same circumstances as Rani all those years ago; he comes from a breeder, and he’s “faulty”. Dudley has a short jaw, meaning his bottom jaw is an inch shorter than it should be, leaving him with what looks like an overbite. Most people don’t notice it until it’s pointed out, and even then you don’t really see it, but it was enough that nobody wanted this poor little guy despite his excellent breeding lines. So I took him in.
Turns out Dudley has more than just the one issue. As I said earlier, I’ve had numerous animals over the years, and I always desex them. Always! (There’s plenty of animals in cages already without adding more, no matter how lovely my pet might be). It’s never been a problem. The first dog I desexed as an adult was a female Heinz 52 (primarily Staffy and Red Heeler), at a grand cost of $90. That was in 1998. Prices have gone up since then, but nothing could have prepared me for the shock today!
I knew Dud’s bill would be higher, as he is now five months old and his left testicle still hadn’t shown itself, even though the right testicle was easy enough to locate. The vet and I decided last month to wait and see, but this morning was a case of “if it hasn’t dropped by now, it’s not going to”. So yeah, I knew it was going to be high.
I nearly fainted when I went to pick him up and found out that the $143 desexing cost had ballooned into $260!!! o.O That’s right, it was nearly double the normal cost. Why? Well, it turns out Dud had an abscessed testicle; in layman’s terms, the testicle had found a nice snug place to live and it wasn’t coming out for anyone. This meant that Dud was under for twice the normal time, and required antibiotics and painkillers in addition to the normal stuff, along with the added cost of the added time under the gas.
So why do we do it? I’m on a disability pension, and thankfully had some money put aside or I wouldn’t have been able to afford it. Why would I pay such a high bill? Why does anyone pay such a high vet bill? Why do some people spend thousands to get their pet well, when it’s relatively cheap to just put them to sleep?
The answer is love. Not just our love for them, but the love they show us in return, every day, while asking very little of us. That’s why.
For the love of animals 🙂